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Virgin 3c Natural Curly Hair

Top 12 Protective Styling Mistakes All Black Women Should Know

Protecting your natural hair is a huge part of making sure your naturally curly hair stays flawless. It’s a vital part of the process and ensures that your hair stays strong and retains its healthy new hair growth and length over time.  Unfortunately, the struggles can be all too real when it comes to protecting your gorgeous mane. There is actually such a thing as too much and too little protection on your natural hair. Too many times, we overlook some of our favorite protective styles and methods and end up doing more damage than good, leaving our hair to pay the price. No worries though, because we’ve compiled some common protective styling mistakes and how to avoid them altogether so your hair can keep slaying all year long!


Braids & Weave

Both braids and sew-in hair weft can be the quickest solutions to creating a gorgeous look without having to actually deal with your own hair.  Many women elect to crochet their hair with bulk or loose hair, creating a longer-lasting and lighter feeling versatile look. You can find various kinky, curly, and coily textured braid hair here. Be careful when sewing in tracks or braiding in bulk hair.  The pain and damage to your natural hair, not to mention to your confidence can be unnerving if care is not taken with installing these protective hairstyles. 


 Cornrows, braids, or weaves that are sewn or braided too tightly can cause extensive breakage, hair loss, and a lot of scalp pain that require immediate attentionSo in reality, if installed too tightly or poorly, you have defeated the purpose of "protecting" your hair. To prevent this, consult with your hairstylist to make sure there is an understanding when it comes to how tight your braids will be. When getting a sew-in, just remember that your foundation should be comfortable. Remember that you still have to actually sew the tracks to your foundation or weave cap and that means increasing tension.  Start our like you can hold out!  If things begin to hurt, say something.


Another common issue with braids and hair weaves is leaving them in too long. Among other things, the longer you leave braids or weave in can cause your hair to mildew and get that moldy "weave smell".  Girl no.  Just don't.  Rock those weaves, wigs, and braids, but let's make sure we are healthy when we do. Typically, two to three months is the longest that you should protective style at a time. 


Natural Hair Product & Usage

Not only can your hair be damaged by the styles you choose to rock, but the hair care products you use can also negatively impact your hair.  You will need to find a healthy balance between too much or too little product use.  


 For example, too much and your hair is oversaturated with the product and just as much or more of the hair product ends up in the sink.  Too little, and you’re left with your hair looking dusty, lifeless, and probably drier than the Sahara Desert. You can even do damage or prevent growth and nourishment when you use the wrong types of hair product. Because Private Stock Hair™ mimics all the characteristics of each curl type, natural hair product use also applies to your hair extensions and natural wigs.  


The best thing to do to prevent your favorite products from destroying your hair is to do your research. Just like a big purchase, your natural hair, as well as PS Hair™, is an investment. You have to truly understand what you’re getting yourself into before signing on the dotted line. Sometimes it takes a while before you will get the right balance of water and how much, when, and how to apply your favorite hair moisturizer to keep your curls just right and keep more money in your pocket. Hang in there.  Natural hair is an art and Black Girl Magic is real. Rise and reign, queen!


Maintain Good Health

Finally, another issue that often gets overlooked with protecting your natural hair is the importance of retaining your hair growth and overall health. Yes, your physical and mental, and emotional health and lifestyle choices directly affect your hair.  What you put in your body is typically reflected in the appearance of, strength,, and performance of your hair.


To help prevent breakage and scalp issues, make a few social and lifestyle changes. Be mindful of the number of greasy foods, drinks, and sugar that you may consume.  Kick toxic people out of your circle.  Yup, we'll touch on this in a later post...  Get moving!  Discuss a healthcare regimen with your doctor and exercise if possible at your own pace. If you cant exercise, just getting out in the sunshine (get that vitamin D), doing more, and taking a few extra steps to stay physically active will help tremendously.  Grab some strawberries every now and then or maybe more avocados (that deliciousness that makes up guacamole), focus mentally on your happiness and start taking multivitamins to benefit hair and nail growth strengthening. Your hair responds to everything that occurs in your life.  Remember to give your hair love by giving your body love. It makes a huge difference and changes your life. Love you, and your hair will love you right back. 


Maintaining and styling is the fun and easy part of natural hair, but protecting your hair is the important part. By understanding what goes in your hair and how to treat your hair, you become an even bigger slayer of natural hair and a better you. 


Developing Routine Hair Care for Your Curls

Protective styling is a popular and effective way to maintain the health of natural African American hair, but it's crucial to avoid common mistakes that can negate the benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the top 12 protective styling mistakes, why it's essential to avoid them, and how to correct them moving forward.

1. Neglecting Proper Hair Preparation

What It Consists Of: Neglecting to wash, condition, and detangle hair thoroughly before installing a protective style can lead to buildup, breakage, and damage.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Proper preparation ensures that the hair is clean, moisturized, and tangle-free, which reduces the risk of damage and promotes healthy growth.

How to Correct:

  • Wash: Use a gentle sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse the scalp and hair.
  • Condition: Apply a deep conditioner to restore moisture and strength.
  • Detangle: Use a wide-tooth comb or fingers to gently detangle from ends to roots.
  • Trim: Regularly trim split ends to prevent breakage.

Additional Advice: Consider doing a protein treatment to strengthen your hair before installing a protective style.


2. Overtight Braiding or Twisting

What It Consists Of: Braiding or twisting hair too tightly can cause tension on the scalp, leading to traction alopecia.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Tight styles can pull at the hairline and scalp, causing hair loss and damage.

How to Correct:

  • Looser Styles: Ask your stylist to avoid excessive tension and opt for looser braids or twists.
  • Check Tightness: Ensure you can comfortably move your scalp and there's no pain or soreness.
  • Scalp Care: Regularly massage your scalp to stimulate blood flow and reduce tension.

Additional Advice: Alternate protective styles to give your hairline a break and prevent stress on the same areas.


3. Ignoring the Scalp

What It Consists Of: Neglecting to moisturize and care for the scalp while wearing protective styles can result in dryness and irritation.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: A healthy scalp is crucial for hair growth. Ignoring scalp care can lead to issues like dandruff and itchiness.

How to Correct:

  • Moisturize: Use a light, natural oil or scalp spray to keep the scalp hydrated.
  • Cleanse: Use a gentle, no-rinse scalp cleanser to remove buildup without disturbing the style.
  • Massage: Regular scalp massages can help distribute oils and improve circulation.

Additional Advice: Avoid heavy oils that can clog pores; opt for lighter oils like jojoba or grapeseed.


4. Prolonging the Style

What It Consists Of: Keeping protective styles in for too long can cause matting, tangling, and breakage when the hair is finally taken down.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Overextending the lifespan of a style can lead to damage that outweighs the protective benefits.

How to Correct:

  • Follow Guidelines: Adhere to recommended time frames for different styles (e.g., 6-8 weeks for braids).
  • Regular Checks: Periodically check for signs of matting or buildup.
  • Proper Removal: Take your time when removing styles to avoid unnecessary breakage.

Additional Advice: Schedule a hair break between styles to allow your scalp and hair to recover.


5. Using Excessive Extensions

What It Consists Of: Adding too many extensions can weigh down natural hair, causing stress on the roots.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Heavy extensions can cause traction alopecia and weaken the hair follicles.

How to Correct:

  • Limit Weight: Use fewer extensions or lighter hair to reduce strain.
  • Distribute Weight: Ensure the extensions are evenly distributed to avoid concentrated stress.
  • Size Matters: Opt for smaller sections of hair to balance the weight.

Additional Advice: Consult with a professional stylist to determine the appropriate amount of extensions for your hair type.


6. Neglecting Regular Moisturization

What It Consists Of: Failing to regularly moisturize the hair while in protective styles can lead to dryness and breakage.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Moisture is crucial for maintaining elasticity and preventing breakage.

How to Correct:

  • Hydrate: Use a leave-in conditioner or moisturizing spray regularly.
  • Seal: Apply natural oils or butter to lock in moisture.
  • Hydration Routine: Establish a consistent routine that includes hydration.

Additional Advice: Use a water-based moisturizer to ensure the hair remains hydrated without becoming greasy.


7. Skipping Regular Cleansing

What It Consists Of: Not washing hair and scalp regularly while in protective styles can lead to product buildup and scalp issues.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Cleansing removes dirt, sweat, and product buildup, which can clog pores and inhibit hair growth.

How to Correct:

  • Dry Shampoo: Use dry shampoo or a no-rinse cleanser to freshen the scalp.
  • Diluted Shampoo: Wash with a diluted sulfate-free shampoo if the style allows.
  • Frequency: Cleanse every 1-2 weeks to maintain a healthy scalp.

Additional Advice: Ensure thorough rinsing to avoid residue that can cause itching and flakiness.


8. Using Incompatible Products

What It Consists Of: Applying products that are not suitable for your hair type or the specific protective style can cause buildup and ineffective hair care.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Incompatible products can weigh down the hair, cause residue, and negate the benefits of the protective style.

How to Correct:

  • Read Labels: Choose products designed for natural hair and protective styles.
  • Lightweight Options: Opt for lightweight, water-based products to avoid buildup.
  • Test Products: Test new products on a small section of hair before full application.

Additional Advice: Consult with your stylist for product recommendations tailored to your hair type and style.


9. Improper Installation

What It Consists Of: Incorrect installation techniques, such as not securing ends properly or using harsh tools, can cause unnecessary damage and breakage.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Proper installation ensures the style is secure, comfortable, and less likely to cause damage.

How to Correct:

  • Professional Help: Seek a professional stylist for complex installations.
  • Gentle Tools: Use gentle tools and avoid tight bands or clips.
  • Secure Ends: Ensure ends are securely tucked or sealed to prevent unraveling.

Additional Advice: Learn proper installation techniques if doing styles at home, and take your time to avoid mistakes.


10. Over-Manipulation

What It Consists Of: Constantly touching or restyling hair while in a protective style can lead to breakage.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Over-manipulation defeats the purpose of protective styling by increasing the risk of breakage.

How to Correct:

  • Hands-Off: Avoid unnecessary touching and manipulation.
  • Set and Forget: Style your hair and leave it alone as much as possible.
  • Low Maintenance: Choose low-maintenance styles that require minimal upkeep.

Additional Advice: Use accessories like headbands or scarves to minimize the need for restyling.


11. Failing to Protect Hair at Night

What It Consists Of: Not using a satin or silk scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase while sleeping can cause friction and moisture loss.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: Friction from cotton pillowcases can lead to dryness, breakage, and split ends.

How to Correct:

  • Satin/Silk: Use satin or silk scarves, bonnets, or pillowcases to reduce friction.
  • Secure Style: Ensure your protective style is secure before going to bed.
  • Moisture Retention: Apply a light moisturizer before bed to keep hair hydrated.

Additional Advice: Consider using a satin-lined cap for added comfort and protection.


12. Failing to Protect Edges

What It Consists Of: Neglecting the delicate edges and hairline can result in thinning and breakage.

Why It's Essential to Avoid: The edges are the most fragile part of the hair and require extra care to prevent damage.

How to Correct:

  • Gentle Styling: Avoid tight styles that pull on the edges.
  • Edge Care: Apply edge protectors or light oils to nourish and protect.
  • Breaks: Give your edges a break between styles to recover.

Additional Advice: Use edge control products sparingly and avoid those with harsh chemicals that can dry out the hairline.

By understanding and avoiding these common protective styling mistakes, you can maintain the health and beauty of your natural hair. Proper preparation, care, and maintenance are key to maximizing the benefits of protective styles and ensuring your hair remains strong and healthy.

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